Friday, January 14, 2011

A Time to Break

Oftentimes in the parenting role, I have to remind myself that "this too shall pass." The boys go through seasons just like other kids. We are still in the season of finger sucking with Sean (as evidenced by his flu episode this week). We're also still in the season of frequent drink spills (Carnation Instant Breakfast all over the couch this a.m.).

I think what aggravates me more than anything (and also perplexes me greatly) is that we seem stuck in the season of breaking things. I don't remember such a lengthy litany of damage done when we lived in DeKalb and only had Bryce. Perhaps, I have selective memory. Perhaps, I'm just more sensitive to it now. I'm really not sure.

But I am sure that our household breaks more things than the average household! Notice that I am including myself in this mix. Recently, I posted on Facebook my disgust with the little boys and their tendency to break the brand new things they just received for Christmas and birthdays. Little boys, especially, seem prone to damage and destroy things (although Bryce was never as destructive with his things as my two younger ones are).

The day I ranted on Facebook, I had watched Sean pick up a brand new race car (received for his birthday and only opened from the package that very morning) and hurl it against the floor. It was as if he was testing the durability of the thing. Of course, as I let out a shriek and yelled, "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR BRAND NEW TOY?????," the car broke into three pieces. What really irked me is that the car was specific to this racing ramp (it had a rolling middle mechanism that lined up with a slot - when you lifted the slot, the car rolled down the track and off a ramp).

Many times, they are not even intentionally trying to be destructive. Trevor was scrambling to the end of his bunk bed when one of the slats broke in half. I felt bad for my knee-jerk complaints. I had to apologize and explain that I knew that he didn't do anything more than a boy has to do to get out of the bed ... but we just got the bunk beds in August, for goodness sakes!

Since receiving their birthday and Christmas presents, they have broken a flick tricks bike, a cool micro buggy remote control car (someone must have stepped on it and broke one wheel off), a screaming blow-up punching bag (did we really need any more noise in this house? I guess not!) and a splat ball.

I begin to wonder if we should keep lists of all the presents received and the hour of their demise. It is really that bad!

Not long after posting my frustration with them, I had to admit to a horrible day of damage myself. I poured my boiling hot water into a mug for tea and watched in horror as the counter pooled with water from a crack the heat must have caused.

Later, while putting the Christmas decorations away, I was carrying one of the heavy stocking holders in its box to the storage bin. This was a really heavy one - a metal train car. Somehow, the car slipped from the box and landed with a crash on the new laminate flooring in the dining room.

Now, I have complained about the new laminate flooring. I even began a post at one time to describe how I feel about the switch from carpeting to laminate (the dog hairs show within moments after swiffering). But, still, I don't want to have to have the whole floor redone just because I accidentally dropped a heavy stocking holder on it. Urgh!

So now the floor (new since August) has a deep gouge in one of the wood-like panels. Can't wait to see how much that will cost to repair! I'm wondering if they will have to remove all the pieces to get to it, since our handy man already told me before that each piece interlocks like a big puzzle and you have to remove the pieces and number them so you remember which piece gets returned in order.

The very same day, I pulled Bryce's new jeans from the dryer and discovered that a red sweatshirt in the load and left pinkish smears all over the pant legs. Thankfully, boy that he is, he didn't seem all that bothered and said people really wouldn't notice (bless you, Bryce).

We purchased new bedspreads for the guest room just days before my family came for a visit. The dog, with his disgusting skin infection, oozed blood onto one of the bedspreads. Of course, the dog had created the need for new bedding to begin with, as he had chewed or clawed the woven ones my mother-in-law had on those beds (he also scratched up an antique table we had between the beds).

It feels like we are stuck in an endless cycle of destruction. Things break so often that we finish the day saying, "So, let's see, what was broken today?" We have way too many visits from repairmen. In fact, John wanted the electrician to come check the wiring in the attic above the garage because he worried that the original contractor had not followed the guidelines. As soon as the two men left, we realized that one of the two garage doors no longer worked. Apparently, their walking jostled an already thin connection. Groan. Darn thing had to be replaced, as well.

To look on the bright side, I can easily admit that we have too many things. Our house is jam packed with far more than we need. Thus, our season of destruction is bearing the fruit of mandatory purging. I would just rather we didn't have to purge the brand new Christmas presents.

I will continue to remind myself that one day these boys will be grown and will only return home for food and laundry services. They will, hopefully, outgrow the stage of testing the durability of every item they touch. I will certainly miss their little fingers, toes and faces. I'll miss their funny personalities (ran into Trevor's kindergarten teacher and she told me how excited Trevor was about going to his grandfather's memorial service - she chuckled and said, "I told him, 'so sorry for your LOSS, Trevor!" - I can just imagine his grin and his enthusiasm). What I will not miss is the intense season of breaking things. But, for everything there is a time and a season, I guess.

No comments: